“Things I kept from the internet” issue 11
I got my issue from: Sticky for $4
Best title: Both are – the name of the zine AND the title for this issue. Anything that claims to be off-limits for the internet?immediately piques my attention. If something needs to be withheld, then I want to read it. The zine screams “too hot for facebook”. Stuff the zinemaker doesn’t want friends to see? I’m in!
Quick’n’dirty: The zine has been put together fast and furiously, or at least that’s how it looks. It’s folded and stapled as an A5 booklet but the layout is on a 90 degree rotation so it’s closer to reading an A4 newsletter format that could have been stapled in the corner rather than through the middle. The manual typewriting feels immediate, has transparent edits, and you can see those photocopier shadows of it all being stuck down. The final two pages are large scrawled handwriting of music listened to while writing the zine and thank-yous.
I am very busy and important, myself: And, because of this, and getting overly excited at the ‘too hot for net’ factor, I picked this zine up on the fly (along with a bunch of others). I got home and realised it was a flimsy 8 page zine that I had unwittingly paid $4 for, with the last two back pages looking suspiciously like filler. Two folded sheets of paper. $4. Was I impressed? No. I was not. Would this fact impinge on my enjoyment of the zine? Yes. It would.
Random: The zinemaker bumps into her ‘first love’ (read, unrequited teen crush, not sure if that classifies) in the city after five years. These are her subsequent reflections. There’s a lot of deep introspection and the zinemaker writes with a brave, candid personal insight as she describes how her once-best-friend in high school changed. How her friend changed from someone she knew and related to (and had a crush on), to someone who assumed a different name, changed sexual identity, and whose disposition differed. Her best friend becomes a politicised trans guy. The zinemaker calls bullshit on the transformation, dates a dude with dyed blue hair, and their friendship disintegrates.
Courage: It took a lot of courage to write this zine and acknowledge past insenstitivies. Trans stuff can be challenging and hard core and so delicately ideosyncratic from person to person, friendship to friendship, and all the broader circles of interconnected relationships in families and communities.
I don’t recognise you anymore: The zinemaker and her friend find themselves on the wrong tetonic plates that now move, grind, and press in conflicted directions, leading to a social continental drift. (Do you like that metaphor? I love it). It’s described well. New articulated personalities, frustrations, desires, and pulls of identity create a new unfamiliar landscape of dynamics. Hurt is involved.
Don’t be a jerk: I love how the zinemaker owns her adolescent behaviour, and points out that while we all want to be considered politically astute with superior interpersonal skills, we are not always these things and there’s definitely been some point in our lives where we’ve been unschooled in discrimination and ignorance and perpetuated hurt ourselves. And that it’s okay, because we’re always learning. Cue an Oprah moment.
Closure: So – the zinemaker was able to spend time as an adult with her estranged friend, and while the bond is different there’s respect and common ground. The zine closes on a more recent romantic trans encounter and finishes with a satisfying sense of wisdom and worldliness.